DIT hosts seminar on religious and spiritual values in social care settings'

  • In a Changing Ireland has Social Care Practice left Religious and Spiritual Values Behind?' 

A seminar, organised by the School of Social Science   and Legal Studies at DIT, will debate the role of religious and spiritual values in social care practice in modern Ireland.  Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will be among the speakers.

The seminar is one of a series organised by Judy Doyle and Carmel Gallagher in DIT's Department of Social Sciences.  Carmel Gallagher, lecturer in the Department, said the choice of topic was motivated by the fact that in today's society there are many different views and approaches in relation to meeting the spiritual and religious needs of individuals in care settings.  Recent research on the participation of older people in their communities confirms the importance of religion to many older adults and it is generally accepted that their needs in this regard are catered for to varying degrees in care settings. 

In the case of children and young people, however, the role of religious and spiritual values is far less clear, especially where professional social care practice and training are concerned.  In the past, residential care for children was provided in the main by religious orders but today most residential centres are run by statutory authorities.  Increasingly regulated to ensure the safety and welfare of children, the majority of these centres adopt a holistic view of a child's wellbeing.   

According to Ms Gallagher, "The place of the traditional Christian values that shaped our childcare services is very unclear today and there may even be a reluctance to address this question.  Such questions can no longer be ignored and as Ireland becomes more multicultural, it is vital that recipients of services be in a position to say that all of their needs - including their spiritual ones - were addressed."

Speakers at the seminar will include:

  • Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin
  • Gerry Burke, Age Concern UK who is developing a policy on spirituality for Age Concern in the UK from a multicultural perspective.
  • Michele Clarke, Chief Inspector, Social Services Inspectorate
  • Noel Howard, Deputy Manager, Children's Special School, Clonmel
  • Lorna Wogan, Monitor, Registration and Inspection Service

Seminar details:

Time:               10.00am - 3.00
Date:                Monday, 3rd April 2006
Location:         G6, DIT Mountjoy Square

For information please contact carmel.gallagher@dit.ie  - seats will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

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